February 21, 2016 |
NEW ORLEANS - Brett Brown was a little nervous. In the three NBA games played on Thursday, the 76ers coach saw teams that were rusty after the all-star break. "We've got to get going like everyone else in the NBA," he said before Friday's game against New Orleans Pelicans. "But the games I have seen so far around the league confirm that it does take a little bit to find a rhythm again. " We learned that it took Brown's team longer to find its groove than the Pelicans. The Sixers nearly battled back a from a 22-point first-half deficit before falling, 121-114, at the Smoothie King Center.
June 30, 2015 |
IN JANUARY, I wrote a column assessing the Sixers' status and how they compared with the other young teams in the league. I looked at the situation for teams with an average age of under-25 and determined the Utah Jazz was on the best path to building a championship contender by 2017-18, with the Sixers and Milwaukee Bucks close behind. The other teams considered were the Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans and Orlando Magic. The primary factors were quality of talent and the likelihood of keeping a growing core together.
June 22, 2015 |
IF YOU ARE LIKE ME, you were fixated in watching the NBA Finals. Although it wasn't great basketball from a technical standpoint, there were many amazing story lines. Led by the incredible LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers won two out of the first three games, and actually should have won Game 1, which they lost to the Golden State Warriors in overtime. Once Kyrie Irving went out in Game 1, Cleveland essentially was left with a bunch of second-stringers to play with LeBron. Nonetheless, he elevated them almost by force of will, and players such as Timofey Mozgov and Matthew Dellavedova rose way above their skill level and helped the Cavs surge into the lead.
February 26, 2015 |
SO, IS 40-0 going to happen? It is now very possible. I don't think Kentucky is one of the great college teams in history. In fact, I would take the Wildcats' 2012 national champions over this team. They finished 38-2, losing on a buzzer-beater at Indiana and to Vanderbilt in the SEC championship game. Remember, Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist were the first two players taken in that NBA draft. Davis and Tim Duncan are the most talented college big men I have seen since I started covering college hoops for the Daily News in 1987.
February 15, 2015 |
NEW YORK - Dell Curry isn't much different from many other parents who are scattered throughout New York City and are going to watch their sons play in tomorrow's All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden. He talks of his son, Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen, proudly, a smile accompanying nearly every word. Where Curry is different is that he knows the ins and outs of the NBA better than most, having spent 16 seasons playing in the league for five teams. While he accomplished much during his playing days, perhaps nothing is better than what he is experiencing now in watching his son put together an MVP-caliber season.
January 29, 2015 |
NEW ORLEANS - Nerlens Noel's game is predicated on emotion and energy. But the 76ers rookie center was short-circuited Monday night in an emotional overload while sparring with Pelicans star Anthony Davis. As a result, Noel produced one of his worst offensive performances in the 99-74 loss to New Orleans at the Smoothie King Center. Noel finished with two points on 1-for-9 shooting to go with six rebounds and two blocks. "I was thinking about the game too much," Noel said of the hyped-up, one-on-one battle against Davis, the former No. 1 overall draft pick out of Kentucky.
January 28, 2015 |
NEW ORLEANS - The 76ers' development of Nerlens Noel is far different from the measures taken by the New Orleans Pelicans when Anthony Davis was a rookie. Noel has squared off against some of the NBA elite post players in Dwight Howard, Marc Gasol and Roy Hibbert. The 6-foot-11, 217-pound rookie also averaged 30.1 minutes heading into Monday's 99-74 loss to Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center. He logged 35 or more minutes six times. The Pelicans tried to limit Davis' minutes during his rookie campaign in 2012-13.
January 27, 2015 |
NEW ORLEANS - We will find out Monday if the 76ers can do it again. The Sixers dominated the New Orleans Pelicans from start to finish in a 96-81 victory on Jan. 16. Some may argue that the victory came with an asterisk because the Pelicans were without their two best players in Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday. Holiday remains sidelined with a left leg injury, but the rematch Monday at Smoothie King Center should provide a more realistic barometer of how the teams stack up. Yes, Davis is that good.
January 22, 2015 |
NEW YORK - The New York Knicks had lost 16 consecutive games when Jose Calderon, one of their starting guards, spotted up in the right corner and caught a bounce pass from Carmelo Anthony against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday. Calderon had missed eight of his nine shots in the game. The Knicks had once led by 15 points and, even though neither Anthony Davis nor Jrue Holiday was playing for New Orleans, now led by one. There were 38.7 seconds left in regulation. If Calderon missed the shot, no one at Madison Square Garden would have expected the Knicks to win. No one. After 16 straight curveballs, who still sits on a fastball?
January 18, 2015 |
Eventually the expectations will increase and the bar will be raised, but, for now, each 76ers win is usually considered a positive and still somewhat surprising development. The Sixers often enter these tussles outmanned, but they are starting to play better together. The Sixers even achieved a first this season - leading from start to finish during a 96-81 victory over the banged-up New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center. This is a team that can still look out of sorts, such as in recent losses to Milwaukee and Atlanta.